After extending the nation's longest homecourt victory streak to 38 games with its win over San Diego Wednesday, BYU (6-1) hosts instate rival Utah State (5-1) of the Big West Conference in the Marriott Center Saturday at 7 p.m. MST. The game will be televised locally on KSL, channel 5, by Sports West Productions with Dave McCann and Craig Hislop calling the action. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 and the Cougar Sports Network, beginning at 6 p.m. MST with a one-hour pregame show. KSL's Greg Wrubell will call the play-by-play action with Mark Durrant providing game analysis. A live Internet audio link is available on the basketball page of the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com, and via BYU Radio on the Dish Network or at byuradio.org. The game will be taped-delay broadcast Monday on BYU Television at 5:30 p.m. MST and on KBYU, channel 11, at 10:30 p.m. There are no live satelitte coordinates because it is a local broadcast only by SportsWest. However, the game will be the first of five BYU games this year being made available on the Church Satelitte System. Fans with access to ward or stake meeting houses that have satelitte capabilities will be able to view the game live.
The Cougars are 6-1 after playing five of its first seven games away from Provo. BYU's lone loss was a 74-64 defeat at Creighton last Saturday, who moved up to No. 23 in the AP Poll and No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll with the win and is now rated No. 1 in the computer Sagarin ratings. The Aggies are off to a 5-1 start, including the title of the Hilo Hawai'i Shootout. Last year Utah State beat BYU, 90-81, in overtime in Logan.
GAME # 8 FAST FACTS
BYU (6-1, 0-0 MWC) vs. UTAH STATE (5-1, 0-0 BIG WEST)
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2002
Marriott Center (22,700)
7 p.m. MST
BYU, Steve Cleveland (91-70 in sixth year; same overall)
USU, Stew Morrill (99-34 in ninth year; 317-172 in 17th season overall)
BYU leads, 132-86
Last Meeting: USU won 90-81 in overtime in Logan on Dec. 1, 2001
SportsWest Productions (Live -- KSL, Channel 5)
Taped-Delay Broadcasts - Monday on BYU Television, 5:30 p.m.; KBYU, 10:30 p.m. MST
Satellite: No coordinates; but available live via LDS Church Satellite System
Game Tipoff time: 7:06 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play: Dave McCann
Game Analyst: Criag Hislop
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time: 6 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Mark Durrant
Live audio link available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2002-03 schedule) and via BYU Radio on Dish Network and byuradio.org.
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 3 Mark Bigelow 6-7 195 Jr. 13.9 3.9 2.7 apg
F 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 250 So. 11.0 4.3
C 55 Rafael Araujo 6-11 265 Jr. 7.0 7.7
G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Sr. 16.1 5.1 2.9 apg
G 24 Kevin Woodberry 6-0 170 Jr. 5.6 1.7 1.4 apg
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G 14 Ricky Bower 6-4 185 Jr. 5.0 1.9 1.4 apg
F 15 John Allen 6-7 215 So. 4.0 2.1
G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 Fr. 2.6 2.0 1.3 apg
C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 Jr. 2.1 0.9
F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 Jr. 1.5 0.7
G 4 Luiz Lemes 6-3 180 Jr. 1.4 0.7
F 5 Jake Shoff 6-9 265 Jr. 1.4 1.6
UTAH STATE AGGIES
Utah State (5-1) will have a full week to prepare for its fifth straight game away from home this weekend as the Aggies travel to Provo to take on BYU. Returning eight lettemen and three starters from last year's 23-8 team that shared the Big West Conference title, the Aggies opened the year with a win at Illinois State (68-53) before winning its lone home game to date over Whitman (86-52). Utah State then claimed the 2002 Hilo Shootout title with victories over Vermont (62-59), Drake (73-61) and host Hilo-Hawai'i (71-60) before suffering its lone loss at Jackson State (63-57). Utah State shot just 37 percent from the field and committed a season-high 19 turnovers in its first loss of the season at Jackson State last Saturday night. Cardell Butler (6-4, Jr., F) led USU with 12 points, while Toraino Johnson (6-4, Sr., F) and Mark Brown (5-10, Jr., G) added 10 each. Johnson led all players with eight rebounds in the game. Utah State turned the ball over in each of its first three possessions to start the game and never got into an offensive flow in the contest. Johnson is joined by Desmond Penigar (6-7, Sr., F) and Ronnie Ross (6-1, Sr., G) as returning starters. Penigar leads the Aggies in scoring at 15.2 points and adds 5.3 rebounds, while Johnson adds 5.5 points and Ross 4.8 points. Newcomers Brown (13.8 ppg) and Cardell Butler (8.7) are making significant contributions, Brown as a starter and Butler off the bench. Last year's redshirt Spencer Nelson (6-7, So., F) adds 8.0 points and a team-leading 5.8 rebounds while Utah transfer Mike Puzey (6-9, Sr., F/C) is scoring 4.5 points and pulling down 5.0 rebounds per game in his six starts in the middle. Brown, who has scored in double figures in all six games this year, was named the MVP of the Hilo Shootout with Pinegar joining him on the all-tourney team. Led by Butler, USU's bench has outscored the opponent's bench in all six games this season. USU is getting 29.0 points per game from its bench, while its opponent's are scoring only 13.5 points per game off the bench. The Aggies are a good shooting team, making 49.1 percent of their field goal attemtps, including 43.1 percent (28-65) from three-point range. They shoot 68.2 percent from the line. USU has allowed its opponents to shoot 42.3 percent from the floor and 40.6 percent 41-101) on threes. The Aggies are scoring 69.5 points per game while allowing 58.0 and are out boarding the opposition 35.2 to 27.8. USU has taken good care of the ball, dishing out 15.2 assists per contest while averaging only 12.0 turnovers. The Aggies have forced 14.8 opponent turnovers on average while seeing its opponents dish out only 11 assists per game. Utah State head coach Stew Morrill will be looking for his 100th win at USU. In his fifth year guiding the program, Morrill is 99-34 (.744) and in his 17 years as a collegiate head coach he is 317-172 (.648). Including this season, Morrill has led three different teams to 5-1 starts (1999, 2001, 2002) in his five years in Logan.
UTAH STATE'S PROBABLE STARTERS
POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG
F 2 Desmond Penigar 6-7 245 Sr. 15.2 5.3
F 5 Toraino Johnson 6-4 215 Sr. 5.5 2.8
C 11 Mike Puzey 6-9 240 Sr. 4.5 5.0
G 1 Ronnie Ross 6-1 190 Sr. 4.8 2.3'
G 20 Mark Brown 5-10 150 Jr. 13.8 4.3' 'denotes assists per game
Utah State is BYU's oldest rival. The rivalry is among the nation's longest ongoing rivalries. BYU and Utah State will be meeting for the 219th time on Saturday. The first game played between the two schools was back on Feb. 23, 1906, with BYU winning 21-14. BYU leads the all-time series 132-86, including an 81-31 record in Provo. BYU has won the last 13 games played in the Marriott Center between the two rivals, dating back to Utah State's 88-76 win in Provo on Dec. 10, 1985. Utah State won last year's meeting in Logan, defeating BYU 90-81 in overtime on Dec. 1, 2001. BYU has won three of the last four meetings in the series and 20 of the last 23 games between the two schools dating back to the 1985-86 season. Prior to the 1985-86 season, Utah State won nine straight games. BYU's last three wins over Utah State at home have been by close margins, winning 69-67 in December 2000, 61-59 in January 1999 and 64-61 in December 1996. BYU has a 3-2 record against the Aggies under Steve Cleveland.
BYU RECORD VS. THE BIG WEST
156-99 (12-4 under Steve Cleveland)
BYU-USU SERIES BREAKDOWN
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 132-86
BYU Record in Provo: 81-31
BYU Record in Logan: 51-55
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 0-0
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 3-2
BYU Record in Overtime Games: 2-4* (0-2 Rd, 2-2 Hm)
*BYU is 1-0 in 2OT games, winning in Provo in 1978
Last Overtime Game: 2001, lost at Utah State, 81-90
Longest BYU Win Streak: 15 twice (1906-12, 1986-93)
Longest Utah State Win Streak: 9 (1981-85)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 34, 115-81 in 1966
Largest Utah State Margin of Victory: 36, 55-19 in 1923
Most Points Scored by BYU: 121 in 1987
Most Points Scored by Utah State: 112 in 1987
LAST YEARS GAME - AGGIES WIN IN OT AFTER BOBIK FINGER ROLL MISSES THE MARK
BYU was a finger-roll away from ending the nation's fourth-longest home court winning streak before falling to Utah State in overtime Saturday, 90-81. With regulation time about to expire, BYU's Daniel Bobik spun into the lane with a nice move to get off a five-foot underhanded scoop shot but it rolled off the rim. With Mark Bigelow out of the game with five fouls, guard Travis Hansen scored all six BYU points in the extra period but the Aggies tallied 15 overtime points thanks to some great rebounding and free throw shooting. Utah State dominated the boards to get more possessions and converted 11 free throws and two field goals in the extra five minutes. Junior college transfer Desmond Penigar scored a game-high 34 points, many on long jumpers, including two threes, and went a perfect 10-10 from the line for the Aggies. He also pulled down a game-high nine rebounds as Utah State finished the night with 35 boards to BYU's 24. The Aggies also grabbed 14 of their own misses on the offensive glass. This is the first time this year BYU has been out rebounded by an opponent. Hansen led BYU with a career-high 26 points and five rebounds. He made 10-of-15 shots from the floor, including a 3-of-5 effort from three-point range. He extended his string of consecutive free throws made to 13 before missing one of his four attempts against the Aggies. Bigelow added 21 points but played only 28 of the 45 minutes, fouling out with two minutes remaining in regulation time. Bigelow, who finished with two rebounds, both on the offensive end, made his third three-pointer of the game with 2:10 remaining in regulation to bring BYU within three at 73-70. Fouling out shortly thereafter, Bigelow sat on the bench as Bobik hit his third trey of the game to even the score at 73. After Hansen converted two free throws with less than a minute to go to put BYU up 75-73, the Cougars tried to get a defensive stop but Utah State's Tony Brown drove baseline and hit Brennan Ray inside for the game-tying bucket. Bobik nearly gave the Cougars the win with his spinning shot in the lane. Bobik scored 13 points off the bench in 25 minutes and Eric Nielsen added 14 points to round out BYU's double-digit scorers. Matt Montague had a season-high 10 assists along with two points while playing a career-high 42 minutes. Brown scored 20 points for Utah State, going a perfect 8-of-8 from the line, while Ronnie Ross contributed 11 points and Chad Evans 10 as four Aggies reached double figures. Both teams shot well from the line. BYU shot 84.2 percent, making 16-of-19 free throws, but the Aggies took 11 more attempts while converting on 28-of-30 free tosses for an impressive 93.3 success rate. BYU shot 48.3 percent from the floor, including 9-of-20 threes, while the Aggies made field goals at a 50.9 percent clip and went 6-of-13 from long range. The win extended Utah State's home winning streak to 25 games, the fourth-longest streak in the nation. BYU was the last team to win in Logan on Jan. 8, 2000. BYU falls to 2-2 on the year after losing two closely contested road games this week at UC Santa Barbara and Utah State. The Aggies, 4-0 this season, ended a string of three consecutive Cougar wins in the series.
WHAT COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY LAST YEAR ...
"Their effort on the boards is what hurt us. They also shot well from the line. Pinegar gave them a great lift outside. We knew he was good inside. We played with great heart and had two chances to win at the end. This is the best execution we have had all year."
LAST GAME IN PROVO - IN HIS BYU DEBUT, TRENT WHITING HELPS COUGARS EDGE AGGIES
Trent Whiting scored a game-high 22 points in his long-awaited BYU debut, and Mekeli Wesley knocked in two free throws with eight seconds to play while also scoring 22 points, as the Cougars held off Utah State 69-67 at the Marriott Center. BYU improves to 6-2 on the season with the win, while the Aggies drop to 6-2. Whiting made an immediate impact in the Cougar offense, starting in his first game back since transferring from Utah last season. He and senior Nate Knight, a Sandy, Utah native who transferred from Kentucky last year as well, became eligible Friday when the fall semester ended. Knight also saw significant action in his first game for the Cougars, finishing with six rebounds in 18 minutes of play. The Cougars started the game 5-5 from three point range, as Whiting drained his first three shots from downtown and Wesley added two long-range jumpers of his own. Mekeli finished with 22 points, including 2-3 on three point attempts, and Whiting went 4-7 from behind the arc. BYU led by as much as 12 points in the early going, but Utah State battled back to take the lead for only the second time in the game with just 36 seconds remaining in the first half. But an NBA-range bomb by Whiting at the buzzer sent the Cougars into the locker room with a 41-40 halftime lead. Utah State came out firing in the second half, taking a 42-41 lead on a dunk by center Dimitri Jorssen just over a minute into the half. The Aggies maintained the lead for almost the entire half. But with 3:23 left to play, Terrell Lyday hit a clutch three pointer to bring the Cougars within two. On the ensuing Aggie possession, Whiting stripped the ball from point guard Bernard Rock and took it the length of the floor for a layup to tie the game at 63-63. With 39 seconds left, and the game tied at 67-67, the Cougars tried to free up Whiting for a three pointer. His attempt from the corner hit the back of the rim and bounced out near the free throw line. But Travis Hansen outleaped an Aggie defender to capture the offensive rebound and maintain possession for BYU. Wesley's two free throws with just eight seconds left gave BYU its first lead of the second half, and proved to be the difference in the final score.
BYU coach Steve Cleveland is expected to play a larger rotation this year with a deeper bench. All 12 players who are expected to play this year have already received playing time. Cleveland has gone with the same starting lineup in every game but St. Bonaventure, where a the Bonnies pressing defense warranted a lineup change. Sophomore guard Marc Roberts and freshman guards Austin Ainge and Jermaine Odjegba are planning to use the season to redshirt. Ainge broke his thumb during practice three days before BYU's season opener. He had surgery in Phoenix. He isn't expected to practice for 3-5 weeks.
BYU STARTING LINEUP RECORD
Woodberry, Hansen, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo - 5-1 Record
Woodberry, Bower, Bigelow, Hansen, Araujo - 1-0 record
BYU received votes in the national polls (Nov. 25) for the first time since last season's eight-game winning streak that included a win over No. 13 Stanford. BYU received four votes (T-41st) in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. BYU recieved two votes (49th) in the Nov. 25 Associated Press Poll. This week BYU received one vote in the coaches poll (T-49th) but received no votes in the AP Poll. After beating BYU, Creighton moved up from 26th in both polls to 23rd in the AP poll and 24th in the coaches poll.
BYU 13TH IN SAGARIN RATINGS
BYU is rated 13th nationally in the latest Sagarin ratings, updated after Wednesday's results. The Cougars are the top-rated Mountain West Conferenc school, followed by UNLV, rated 46th, Utah 57th and Wyoming 85th. After beating BYU, Creighton is now the top-rated team in the nation. Utah State the top-rated Big West school at 93rd. The Mountain West is rated eighth nationally as a league.
BYU'S LAST OUTING -- SECOND-HALF RUNS CARRY COUGARS OVER USD
BYU used two second-half runs to beat the University of San Diego Torereos, 64-49, Wednesday at the Marriott Center. San Diego controlled most of the very physical, sloppy-played first half. With seconds to play, BYU's John Allen hit a three-pointer, cutting the Torero lead to 28-26 and giving BYU momentum going into the locker room. BYU increased the defensive pressure to open the second half. Two immediate turnovers sparked a 9-0 run that included a Kevin Woodberry trey. The burst gave the Cougars the lead at 35-28 with 18:31 to go. Minutes later, BYU started another run, holding the Toreros scoreless for just over seven minutes. Defense and fast break points led BYU on a season-best 18-0 run that extended the lead to 56-41. Several of the buckets came from offensive rebounds, and the Cougars finished the game with 14. For BYU, four players scored in double figures, led by Travis Hansen with 17 points and seven rebounds. Rafael Araujo scored a career-high 11 points, despite playing just three minutes in the first half because of foul trouble. Jared Jensen chipped in 11 points and Mark Bigelow added 10. BYU scored 27 points off of 24 San Diego turnovers. The Toreros had no match for Jensen and Araujo inside in the second half as BYU scored 24 points in the paint to San Diego's eight. Jason Blair led the Toreros in scoring with 17 points, including 3 of 5 from behind the arc, along with a game-high nine boards.
UP NEXT FOR BYU
Due to finals week, BYU's will not play until a week from Saturday when the Cougars host UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The Gauchos finished 20-11 last year and advanced to the NCAA tournament as the Big West Tournament Champions. They are 3-4 this year after their 67-60 loss at 4-1 California Tuesday. They have 11 days to prepare for BYU, playing only an exibition on Dec. 18 prior to facing the Cougars on Dec. 21.
This year's team became the first BYU team to start 5-0 since the 1991-92 team started 7-0. At 6-1, BYU has its best start since the 1999-2000 team was 6-1 after seven games and can match the 1999-2000 team's 7-1 start with a victory Saturday.
HANSEN STARTS SENIOR SEASON STRONG
BYU's lone senior, guard Travis Hansen, is off to a strong start in his final campaign. He leads BYU in scoring (16.1 ppg) and assists (2.9 apg) and is second in rebounding (5.1 rpg). Hansen is shooting 52.1 percent from the floor, 35.7 percent from behind the three-point line (which was extended to the experimental rules distance of 20 feet, 6 inches at the Paradise Jam), and 79.1 percent from the free throw line. He scored a season-high 23 points at ASU and had a game-high 17 Wednesday vs. San Diego. He has led BYU in scoring in four of BYU's seven games.
The loss at Creighton ended a string of four consecutive BYU wins away from the Marriott Center. It was the team's best streak away from home since BYU's 2001 NCAA team won five consecutive games (2 away, 3 at the MWC tournament) in March 2001. The Cougars won five straight games overall to open this season, the longest overall streak since winning eight straight games last year in preseason. BYU owns the nation's longest homecourt win streak at 38 games.
BYU has held all six opponents to 42 percent or lower shooting, and has held four of its seven opponents below 35 percent shooting (those above... Creighton .422, ASU .413, Kansas State .404). BYU has held five of its opponents below 30 percent shooting in the second half this year. BYU has held five of its seven opponents to 60 points or less (Kansas State 64, Creighton 74). BYU is 46-3 under Steve Cleveland when holding its opponents below 60 points. BYU held San Diego's leading scorer, 6-foot-10, 280-pound center Jason Keep who had 30 points and 16 rebounds at UCLA this year, to just seven points -- more than 10 points below his 17.7 average entering the game. Against Rice, BYU held 2002 WAC Freshman of the Year forward Michael Harris, who came in averaging 13.7 points and 10.3 rebounds, including a 14-point, 10-rebound night on 7-10 shooting at Stanford, to 11 points and four boards. ASU's freshman sensation Ike Diogu was held five points below his season average. Despite the loss, BYU held Creighton, a team that shot 54 percent from the floor and 51 percent on threes in its first five games, to 42 percent shooting from the floor and 29 percent three-point shooting on its home floor.
BYU has outshot all seven opponents this year and outrebounded six of seven as Creighton pulled down just two more boards than BYU. BYU shot 45.5 percent to San Diego's 33.3 percent Wednesday. On the year, BYU is shooting 48.0 percent and its opponents 36.3. BYU has made 41.1 percent of its threes compared to its opponents' 27.4 percentage. BYU is averaging 71.0 while allowing 59.4 points. has 91 assists to its opponents 64, 27 blocks to 25 and 53 steals to 46. The only statistical category where the Cougars wish they had less than there opponents is the one area they aren't winning. BYU averages 17.1 turnovers to its opponents 16.0. With a season-high 23 turnovers commited at Creighton producing 25 Bluejay points, BYU could easily be unbeaten if they were also winning the turnover statistical column.
WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?
After shooting 70 percent or better from the line in its first six games this year, topping 80 percent three times, BYU-- annually among the nation's top free throw shooting teams, made just over half (11-20, .550) of its attempts vs. USD Wednesday. It was BYU's worst free throw effort since shooting 50 percent (2-4) vs. San Diego State two years ago (1/13/01).
COUGARS BOAST STRONG SCHEDULE
Seventeen games against teams who qualified for postseason play last year and spots in the University of The Virgin Islands Paradise Jam (U.S. Virgin Islands) and Touchstone Energy All-College Classic (Oklahoma City) highlight BYU's 2002-03 men's basketball schedule. BYU's nonconference schedule includes teams from 10 different conferences. Overall, 12 teams earned postseason bids last season, seven advancing to the NCAA tournament and five playing in the NIT. Six teams earned a conference regular season or league tournament title and 12 placed in the top three in their league standings. In all, the schedule includes a total of 29 regular season games and two exhibitions. The Cougars will play 14 regular season games in the Marriott Center, where BYU owns the nation's longest active home-court victory streak at 36 games. Excluding the MWC Tournament, BYU plays 15 road games, including 11 away contests and four neutral site games. The 2003 MWC Tournament takes place March 12-15 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. The Pac-10, Big 12, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big West, Mid-American, Mid-Continent, Missouri Valley, West Coast and Western Athletic are represented on the non-league schedule. Nine teams -- Arizona State, Creighton, San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Utah State, Southern Utah, Weber State and Pepperdine -- were also on last year's nonconference schedule. BYU earned a 6-3 record in those games, losing at UCSB and dropping overtime games at both Utah State and Pepperdine.
BYU ON TELEVISION
The Cougars will be featured in 15 television broadcasts in 2002-03, including five times as part of the Mountain West Conference television package with ESPN. BYU will appear on ESPN2 vs. Oklahoma State in the Touchstone Energy All-College Classic in Oklahoma City on Jan. 4 and on ESPN "Big Monday" at Utah on Feb. 24. BYU appears three times on ESPN+Plus, hosting Utah Jan. 25 and New Mexico Feb. 1 before facing reigning MWC champion Wyoming in Laramie on Feb. 8. BYU will also be featured in nine SportsWest Production telecasts and on Fox Sports Net. The Mountain West Conference television agreement with ESPN will provide 32 national and regional television broadcasts on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN+Plus in 2002-03, including 14 appearances on ESPN, two on ESPN2, two on ABC and 12 on ESPN+Plus as the featured "Mountain West Conference Game of the Week". ESPN+Plus games in Utah are aired on KJZZ-TV, channel 14. An additional 20 MWC games are scheduled to be aired on SportsWest as point-to-point broadcasts by local affiliates, while local institutional packages will add a minimum of another 19 games in 2002-03. For the fourth consecutive season every game of the EAS Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Championship will be televised by ESPN or ESPN+Plus.
NATION'S LONGEST HOME WINNING STREAK
BYU has a 38-game home court winning streak. The streak, which is a school record topping the 24 straight won between March 1994 and January 1996, is the longest current streak in the nation. BYU went 16-0 at home last season and was 15-0 the prior year. BYU has had a perfect home record seven times since the Marriott Center opened for the 1971-72 season. The past two years, however, marks the first time it has happened in back-to-back seasons. Last year's team tied the BYU single-season record with 16 home wins and was only the fourth Cougar squad to win more than 14 home games in a season. The 1987-88 Ladell Andersen squad went 16-2 in the Marriott Center. BYU's last home loss was on Feb. 17, 2000 when New Mexico edged the Cougars 78-74. BYU has won 17 straight at home over MWC teams. BYU has defeated 29 straight nonconference opponents in the Marriott Center since starting the streak with a 61-59 win over Utah State on Jan. 2, 1999. The last non-league foe to win in Provo was the California Bears, who edged BYU 71-70 on Dec. 19, 1998.
BREAKING THROUGH ON THE ROAD
While BYU entered this season with the nation's longest active home winning streak at 36 games (now 38), the Cougars also finished last season having lost their last 10 games away from the Marriott Center and their last 11 straight games on an opponent's home court, including three in overtime. This year, BYU has snapped both losing streaks. With its three wins at the Paradise Jam -- BYU's first win streak away from home since the end of the 2001 season, BYU ended the 10-game skid. With BYU's victory at ASU last week, the Cougars got the 11-game road losing streak off their backs. BYU also ended seven straight losses on a Pac-10 opponent's home floor dating back to its win over ASU in 1989. Last year BYU won only twice away from home. Last year's road wins were a neutral court 81-76 upset over No. 13 Stanford at the Las Vegas Showdown on Dec. 22, 2001 and a season-opening win at San Diego, 70-59, on Nov. 17, 2001.
NEUTRAL COURT RECORD
BYU is 12-7 on a neutral court under Steve Cleveland. Last year BYU was 1-1 on a neutral floor. Prior to the Paradise Jam, BYU's last neutral court game was a 62-51 loss to San Diego State at the 2002 MWC Tournament. BYU's prior neutral win was over No. 13 Stanford, 81-76, at the Las Vegas Showdown. The Cougars have won seven of their last nine neutral court contests.
CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF BASKETBALL
BYU is celebrating 100 years of basketball. Since the first season of BYU basketball in 1903, BYU entered this season having achieved a 1433-923 (.608) overall record with 21 different coaches at the helm. The combined efforts of these men have provided the Cougars with 80 winning seasons in 100 years. BYU has won 25 conference titles and made 28 postseason tournament appearances with 19 NCAA bids and nine NIT berths. The Cougars won the 1951 and 1966 NIT titles and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament in 1981, highlighted by Danny Ainge's length-of-the-court dash to defeat Notre Dame at the buzzer. Ainge was named the nation's top player as the John Wooden Award and Eastman Award winner. Twenty-three players have received All-America recognition while NBA teams have selected a Cougar 41 times in its annual draft. BYU has the nation's 11th longest rivalry, dating back to 1909, against the University of Utah. BYU and Utah have the 10th longest rivalry in terms of games played with 232 contests. Amazingly, the series is tied at 116-116. For more information on BYU's 100-year history, please consult the 2002-03 BYU media guide.
HANSEN, BIGELOW EARN PARADISE JAM AWARDS
Leading BYU to the University of the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam title, Travis Hansen and Mark Bigelow were named to the Paradise Jam All Tournament Team. Others selected to the team were Pervis Pasco of Kansas State, Nick Moore of Toledo, Terry Taylor of Virginia Tech and tournament MVP Marques Green of St. Bonaventure.
PARADISE JAM OFFERED OFF COURT MEMORIES
During their week in the Virgin Islands, the Cougars were able to do more than just win three games to claim the Paradise Jam title. While the coaches and players weren't able to fully take advantage of the beautiful beaches and other opportunities available on St. Thomas, the team was able to go on a Catamaran Tour, that included snorkeling, the day before its first game. One of the highlights of the trip was on Sunday. With BYU not practicing or playing that day, the entire team and extended traveling party attended church services at the local branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Cougar contingency helped boost the branch attendance from its usual 20-25 to 138. It was the largest group to ever attend church services in the branch. Later that evening, the entire team returned to participate in a church fireside. During the day, BYU coach Steve Cleveland, Travis Hansen, Mark Bigelow, Dan Howard, Terry Nashif and Ricky Bower all spoke and the entire team mingled and spent time with the local members. Many church members attended BYU's games during the week, giving the Cougars a nice fan base in the 3,000-seat Sports and Fitness Center. BYU, along with the other teams in the Paradise Jam, participated in the Paradise Jam Dockside Jamboree on the evening before the tournament began. The festival, located near the dock were cruise ships come to port, included local bands, steel drum bands, mocko jumbies, local food, arts, crafts and shopping. The players had opportunities to sign autographs and Coach Cleveland was able to talk about the team and university on a live radio program being broadcast remotely from the event.
BYU VS. ITS CONFERENCE PEERS
BYU is picked to finish fourth this year in the Mountain West Conference. BYU has a won 58 percent (418-299) of its games vs. its MWC opponents. As an overall athletic program, BYU has dominated the Mountain West, winning 63 percent of the titles in the league's first three seasons.
COUGARS SIGN COMBO GUARD MICHAEL ROSE
During the early signing period in November, BYU signed Michael Rose, a 6-foot-1 combo guard out of Spring Woods High School in Houston Texas. A four-year starter, Rose averaged 16.3 points, five rebounds and three assists playing shooting guard as a junior. A preseason All Greater Houston First Team selection, Rose will play point guard his senior season. He has earned first-team All-District 21 5A honors the past two seasons and was the team MVP in 2002. He has helped his team to second-place District 21 finishes the past two years. In is first season, he was named District 21 Freshman of the Year. Rose has played four years on the Houston Hoops summer AAU team that also features top-five recruits Ndidi Eby and Kendrick Perkins. As the team's starting shooting guard, Rose averaged 14 points and helped the team earn a No. 1 national rating for much of the summer. The team placed second at two of the nation's larger invitational tournaments, finishing as the runner-up at both the Nike Peach Jam in Augusta, Ga., and Nike Super Showcase in Orlando, Fla. A great shooter, Rose is one of the 16 finalists still alive in Cuttino Mobley's Clutch City Shootout. Sponsored by the Houston Rockets and generating more than 300 participants, the Shootout allows Houston-area 4A and 5A high school basketball players the opportunity to compete in a series of three-point shooting contests. Rose is scheduled to shoot at halftime of the Rockets' Jan. 13 game. Earlier this month, he connected on 14 consecutive three-point shots during a scrimmage while scoring 56 points. Rose possesses a strong academic resume, ranking second in his class of 365 seniors. He was recruited by Houston, St. Louis, Utah State, Colorado State, Texas Christian, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Illinois. With guard Travis Hansen being the only senior on this year's roster, Rose is expected to be the only player to sign with BYU during the early signing period. He is the nephew of BYU Associate Head Coach Dave Rose.
CAPSULE: Kevin Woodberry is a true point guard and strong defender who helped Dixie State College (St. George, Utah) to a 34-3 record and the 2002 NJCAA National Championship ...A second-team All-Scenic West Athletic Conference selection, he led the Rebels in assists (3.6), steals (2.0), three-point field goals (73) and free throw percentage (.815).
2002-03: Kevin has started at the point in all seven games ... He is shooting 29 percent from the floor, 25 percent on threes and 47 percent from the line while committing 19 turnovers to his 10 assists ... His numbers at home are much better, where he is shooting 50 percent (5-10) from the floor, 60 percent (3-5) on threes and 62.5 percent (5-8) from the line while averaging 9.0 ppg (averages 4.2 ppg on the road) ... He is yet to dish out an assist at home, however, in the first two games, but has only three turnovers ... He has not had an assist in three of the last four games ... He had a season-high 10 points and 3 steals vs. Rice ... He grabbed the key rebound and made his only free throw in five attempts to preserve a win at ASU ... He had a season-high 4 rebounds and 4 assists at ASU, playing a season-high 31 minutes in his hometown ... He played season-low 15 minutes at Creighton, hitting a three ... He matched season-high 31 minutes while scoring 8 points with a BYU season-best 4 steals vs. San Diego.
CAPSULE: Hansen is an MWC Player of the Year candidate entering his final season ... BYU's lone senior, he was the team's best player last year when he led the Cougars in scoring (15.6) and rebounding (6.2) ... He earned second-team All-MWC honors ... He is an extremely athletic and explosive player who can create his own shot or knock down the three ... His explosiveness was evidenced by game highs of 30 points and 17 rebounds last year ... He shot 42.2 percent from three-point range last season ... His first season with the Cougars in 2000-01 he played a supporting role (5.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg) primarily due to a broken foot he suffered after earning a starting assignment ... He played as a freshman at Utah Valley State College before an LDS Church mission.
2002-03: Hansen leads BYU in scoring (16.1) and assists (2.9) and is second in rebounding (5.1) ... He led BYU with 17.0 ppg last week while shooting 70.6 percent (12-17) from the floor and 83.3 percent (10-12) from the line ... He scored eight of BYU's final 12 points and assisted two of the other four points at ASU, going 8-11 from the floor and 7-8 from the line to score a season-high 23 points ... He has had two of his top-five assist games this seaon with four assists vs.Rice and a career-tying 5 assists vs. Toledo ... Taking only seven shots and two free throw attempts, he failed to score in double figures for the first time this year with 9 points vs. Rice, ending 11 straight double-digit games dating back to last season ... His one rebound at ASU is the lowest single-game rebounding total since his sophomore season when he had no boards vs. New Mexico in the MWC touranment title win ... He had 2 boards at Crieghton ... He had 2 boards in a game only twice last year ... He tied a career-best 2 blocks vs. USD, matching the two blocks he had vs. the Toreros in San Diego last year ... He has led BYU in scoring in four of seven games.
CAPSULE: Bigelow is an all-conference candidate ... He was hampered last season by conditioning in first year back from a two-year mission layoff but showed signs of why he was BYU's best player prior to his mission ... He had 31 points vs. Arizona State and averaged 14.9 points, earning honorable mention All-MWC recognition in 2001-02 ... He was BYU's leading scorer (15.0) and rebounder (6.3) and WAC Pacific Division Freshman of the Year and All-WAC Second Team in 1998-99 before going on a mission to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. ... A threat from long range, Bigelow led the Cougars last year in three-pointers made with 65 on 42.2 percent shooting and set the BYU record for consecutive games with a trey (22) ... He is an excellent shooter and extremely intelligent player ... A gifted offensive player with a great mid-range game ... He moves well without the ball.
2002-03: Bigelow reached double digits six of seven games and is the second leading scorer at 13.9 ppg ... He is second on the team in assists with 19 ... He had connected from long range in 11 straight games dating back to last season prior to not attempting a three for the first game of his career at ASU ... He made a season-high four triples at Creighton ... With BYU trailing 30-22, he made three consecutive treys to give BYU the lead at 31-30 ... He has made a team-leading 12 threes on the year while shooting 52.4 percent from long range ... He has 121 career threes, six shy of Terrell Lyday's 127 ... He is making 48.4 percent of his field goal attempts overall ... He had a season-high eight rebounds and 5 assists vs. USD Wednesday.
CAPSULE: Jensen enters his sophomore season as a viable all-conference candidate ... He came to BYU as the most prized high school recruit from the state of Utah (25.8 ppg, 13.0 rpg) and proved why while earning MWC Co-Freshman of the Year honors in 2001-02 ... He is a talented offensive player in the low-post who can also score with his jumper ... He finished first in the Mountain West Conference with a team-leading 59.1 field goal percentage last year and was fourth on the team in scoring and rebounding at 8.6 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per contest ... He had season highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds while starting in 25 games.
2002-03: Jensen is third on the team in scoring (11.0) and rebounding (4.3), having started in six of seven games ... He didn't start vs. St. Bonaventure due to its guard-oriented pressing defense, but scored a team-high 15 minutes with 6 rebounds, including many key plays in the final minutes ... He returned to the starting lineup vs. Rice and had 18 points in 18 minutes on 6-for-6 shooting while grabbing 5 boards ... He scored seven straight points to give BYU a 13 point lead as part of an 18-1 first-half run that blew open the game for the Cougars ... The last time a Cougar was perfect from the field with at least six attempts was Eric Nielsen on Feb. 24, 2001 at Utah when he also went 6-6 from the field ... He had his fourth straight double-digit scoring game at ASU and got BYU going early with 10 first-half points ... After going 1-3 in the season-opener vs. Toledo, Jensen has shot 50 percent or better in each of the last six games, including a 11-14 (.786) in the Marriott Center this year where he is averaging 14.5 ppg ... He has made 20 of his last 28 attempts from the floor and is shooting 64.3 percent on the year.
CAPSULE: One of the top-10 junior college players in the country last year, Rafael Araujo earned second-team NJCAA All-America honors in 2001-02 at Arizona Western College ... He averaged 17.9 points and 10.7 rebounds ... He is a strong athlete with great leaping ability ... He runs the floor well and has range on the perimeter ... He played on the Brazilian National Team at the World Basketball Championships in Indianapolis.
2002-03: After a slow start in his first game, BYU's big center has shown continual improvement ... He had nine points vs. Kansas State; 10 boards vs. St. Bonaventure; 8 boards, 3 assists and 3 steals vs. Rice; 11 boards, 9 points, 3 blocks and 3 assists at ASU; a season-high 12 rebounds at Creighton; and a season-best 11 points on 5-7 shooting vs. San Diego ... He has had double-digit rebounds in three of the last five games, including both games last week when he averaged 11.5 boards per game ... He is averaging 7.7 rebounds on the year to rank second among all MWC players ... He is averaging 20.6 minutes per game and played a season-high 28 minutes at Creighton ... After playing on three minutes in the first half vs. San Diego without taking a shot or getting a rebound because of foul trouble, he logged 15 second-half minutes and scored all 11 points and grabbed four boards while holding 6-10, 280-pound San Diego Center Jason Keep more than 10 points below his average ... He is shooting 8-11 (.727) in his two home games this year.
CAPSULE: Bower should play a key role at the point and shooting guard positions in 2002-03 ... He is a transfer from the University of Wisconsin who sat out last season as a redshirt because of NCAA transfer rules ...He is an excellent three-point shooter with good point guard skills ... He shot 44 percent from three-point range and 81 percent from the line at Wisconsin ... He has nice size when playing the point and has good leadership skills.
2002-03: Slowed by preseason injuries that limited his practice time, Bower has played primarily at the shooting guard position until seeing some extended point guard minutes in the second half at Creighton last Saturday ... He played a key role in his only start vs. St. Bonaventure, helping handle the Bonnies pressure defense ... He has been the primary reserve on the perimeter ... He is shooting 50 percent from the floor and from three-point range, and 86.7 percent from the line ... He hit a big shot in the corner at ASU during a BYU run ... He started in the second half at Creighton, where he scored 9 points and dished out a season-high 4 assists ... He took 8 shots at Creighton after having only taken 10 shots over the first five games ... His 8 shots were more than the prior four games combined when he took 7 shots ... He did not attempt a shot while playing a season-low 13 minutes vs. San Diego Wednesday ... He is fifth on the team in minutes played and has one start.
CAPSULE: Nashif appeared in 21 of 30 games last year as a freshman, averaging 2.9 minutes at the point as a reserve behind senior starter Matt Montague ... A smart player and good distributor of the ball, he has a nice shot from three-point range ... ... He averaged 0.5 points, 0.4 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game last year while playing one minute or less in nine of his 21 appearances ... He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after his senior year in 1999 at Evergreen High School in Vancouver, Wash.
2002-03: Reserve point guard Terry Nashif played more minutes in each of the first four games this year than he did in any game last season when he played a season high of 10 minutes twice ...He played a career-best 23 minutes vs. St. Bonaventure and had a key steal and bucket to help BYU claim the Paradise Jam title ... He also had a steal for a lay-in on the other end against Rice ... He had a career night vs. Rice, setting personal bests with 10 points, five rebounds and five assists and two steals in 19 minutes ...His minutes were more limited last week, playing 9 minutes in each game without scoring or having an assist but did grab two boards in each game ... He played 9 minutes with one assist vs. San Diego.
CAPSULE: A combo guard and outstanding outside shooter, Lemes enters his junior year at BYU in 2002-03 with three years to play two after transferring from Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton, Okla. ... He earned first-team NJCAA All-Region 2 honors last season at EOSC ... He led the Mountaineers to back-to-back Region 2 Tournament runner-up finishes with records of 23-8 and 25-7 ... Played point guard as a freshman before being moved to the wing because of his great shooting ability ... He made 66 threes last season from the wing.
2002-03: Lemes saw limited time in BYU's first three games, without attempting a shot ... He played 20 minutes in the home-opening win over Rice, scoring his first points as a Cougar with 7 points on 3-4 shooting ... He sparked BYU's decisive first-half run vs. Rice when he stole a Rice pass and went the length of the court for a lay-up for his first bucket ... On the next offensive possession, he connected on his first three-point attempt of the year giving the Cougars a 23-17 lead ... At Creighton, he had one assist and hit his only attempt, a trey, to start a 12-3 Cougar run that included four three-pointers, three by Mark Bigelow, to help BYU regain the lead at 31-30 in the first half ... Hasn't played more than 7 minutes in any game except Rice ... He is 4-7 from the floor and 2-3 on threes this year.
CAPSULE: Returns from two-year mission in El Salvador ... He is a good shooter who can play on the perimeter and has a nice feel inside ... He played in 18 games as a freshman at BYU in 1999-2000, averaging 1.9 points and 1.2 rebounds ... He gained more playing time as the season progressed ... He made 65 threes as team MVP at Mayde Creek High School in Houston.
2002-03: Played a career-high 23 minutes in BYU's season-opening win over Toledo ... He also played more than his previous high of 14 minutes (vs. Notre Dame in 2000 NIT quarterfinals) in the prior three games before playing eight minutes at Creighton and a season-low six minutes Wednesday vs. San Diego ... He scored in each of the first five games, including a season-high 8 points at ASU, before going scoreless on 0-1 shooting at Creighton ... He has hit timely threes for BYU this year ... He is 5-8 on threes and hit a big three after coming in once Travis Hansen was ejected with BYU trailing vs. Kansas State ... He hit BYU's only three at ASU, going 3-4 from the floor, hitting his only trey ... He went 1-5 on the night but hit a three at the end of the first half vs. San Diego that gave BYU momentum, bringing the Cougars to within two points at the break .
CAPSULE: Jepsen was a key reserve who was one of seven players to appear in all 30 games last year ... The redshirt junior has valuable experience and excellent athletic ability ... He is a solid rebounder and defender who runs the floor extremely well for a big man ... He averaged 0.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in 7.8 minutes per game last year and 1.2 points and 2.1 rebounds in 11.9 minutes as a freshman in Steve Cleveland's first season in 1997-98 while playing in 27 of 30 games, including nine starts.
2002-03: Jepsen missed his first game since his freshman season vs. St. Bonaventure due to the Bonnies guard-oriented pressing defense the entire game ... He had played in 32 straight games since not playing vs. Tulsa in the 1998 WAC Tournament in Las Vegas ... He saw limited action in BYU's first two games before playing a season-high 12 minutes vs. Rice, going a career-best 3-3 and tying his career high with 7 points ... He made the second three-pointer of his career and his first since his freshmen season in 1997-98 when he connected on his only attempt vs. Rice ... He took only one three-pointer last year and is 1-2 this year after a miss vs. San Diego ... He is 2-12 on threes for his career ... Against Creighton he came in and hit a jumper when Jared Jensen was forced out of the game momentarily to have an injury attended to ... He is shooting 50 perent from the floor on eight attempts and has not gone to the line.
CAPSULE: Shoff is a transfer from Weber State University (Ogden, Utah) who sat out last season as a redshirt because of NCAA transfer rules ...A strong physical player inside, he was third in the nation in average rebounds per minute played in 2000-01 at Weber State ... Despite not being allowed to play last year, he was able to contribute to the team's success as an effective post presence in practices and as a scout team player.
2002-03: Shoff did not practice or play for the better part of the practice season due to back problems ... He has played in five games ... He saw his first action vs. Kansas State and was active, pulling down four rebounds in his 13 minutes ... Saw only his second extended playing time of the year Wednesday vs. San Diego, scoring 4 points with one rebound and a steal while playing a key defensive role helping keep USD center Jason Keep, USD's leading scorer boasting a huge 6-10, 280-pound frame, 10 points below his average ... He played nine minutes as BYU center Rafael Araujo was limited by foul trouble ... He played only two minutes against the smaller, pressing defense of St. Bonaventure and was the only Cougar to not play vs. Rice ... He played two minutes at ASU but contributed with 2 rebounds, one on the offensive end, and had 1 point ... He played one minute at Creighton.
CAPSULE: Howard played a key role in the second half of the season in 2001-02 ... He appeared in 21 games, including four starts, averaging 1.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 9.5 minutes per game last year after playing in 14 games as a freshman in limited action ... The tallest player on the roster, he plays with energy and has been a valuable defensive and rebounding presence ... He has a nice touch for a big man, shooting 21-33 (.636) from the floor in his first two seasons, including 13-22 (.591) last year when he shared top field goal percentage honors with Jared Jensen ... Last year was his first real extended playing time since playing for Davis High School in 1996.
2002-03: Howard played a key role vs. Toledo, coming off the bench to give BYU a solid post effort with a career-high 11 points with starters Jared Jensen and Rafael Araujo both in foul trouble and ineffective ... In the first two games, Howard set or equaled career bests in seven different categories (points, field goals, field goals attempted, free throws, free throws attempted, assists and blocked shots) ... He went 2-4 vs. Rice, including a dunk, to score 4 points in his 10 minutes ... played two minutes at ASU with 2 rebounds, one on the offensive glass ... Played nine minutes vs. USD Wednesday ... He has played double-digit minutes only once in the last five games.
CAPSULE: Returns from a two-year mission in Argentina ... He could redshirt while getting back in playing condition after missionary service ... He is an athletic player who has has one of the best vertical leaps on the team ... He excited fans as a freshman with his slashing dunks ... He is a good defender on the perimeter ... He played in 21 games as a freshman with one start, while playing a limited 4.3 minutes per game ... He was Utah 4A Player of the Year out of Provo's Timpview High School.
2002-03: He had his knee scoped in October ... Roberts is a likely redshirt this season.
CAPSULE: Ainge returned from a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in August .... A smart player and good leader, he is an outstanding three-point shooter with a crafty Jeff Hornacek-like runner in the lane ... He is a point guard who has a total understanding of the game and the unique ability to distribute the ball to teammates when they are ready to score ... He is the son of former BYU and NBA great and former Phoenix Suns coach Danny Ainge ... he prepped at Highland High Schol in Gilbert, Ariz., prior to serving his mission.
2002-03: Ainge will redshirt this year ... He broke his thumb the day before the team departed for the Paradise Jam ... He had surgery in Phoenix and will be out another 3-5 weeks.
CAPSULE: Jermaine Odjegba is a true freshman who prepped at Palm Beach Gardens High School in 2001-02 ... A 6-foot-5 shooting guard, he averaged 18 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists while earning first-team all-conference and honorable mention all-state honors.
2002-03: Odjegba will redshirt this year.